Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

“It’s Time”: Unleash the Light Within

I find 1969’s “It’s Time” by The Sons of Champlin to be very evocative of its time — there’s a similar uplift in tone and lyric (at least on the chorus) as with Sly & the Family Stone, both bands being from the Bay Area, coincidentally or not.

Musician & Production Credits

Bill Champlin – Organ, Guitar & Lead Vocals
Bill Bowen – Drums
Al Strong – Bass
Terry Haggerty – Lead Guitar
Geoff Palmer – Baritone Saxophone & Piano
Tim Cain – Tenor Saxophone
Jim Beem – Trumpet
Producer – John Palladino

Nice use of church chimes in the run-up to the chorus.  This song was the A-side of a 1969 Capitol 45 — the third of four singles for that label — and included on the band’s second album, The Sons, which was reissued in the UK (2002*) and Japan (2005).

Jesus Is Coming (Pt. 1 & 2)” – included on UK CD reissue*

LINK to “God Pop On The Charts – Early ’70s

Sons of Champlin LP

As it turns out, the similarity in spirit to Sly is not coincidental — so say the historians at Soul Tracks:

The Sons of Champlin arose in the late 60s out of a dynamic Bay Area music scene that was most noted for psychedelic rock acts like Jefferson Airplane, but which was also the home of groups like Sly & the Family Stone and Tower of Power that were changing the face of soul music, taking James Brown’s funk introductions to the next level of assimilation in popular music.  The Sons of Champlin were caught somewhere between the two groups, resembling the look and often the lyrics of the former but always clearly displaying their affinity for soul music.


LINK to Rock ‘n’ Soul on Zero to 180

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